Manchester Phoenix 2 Sheffield Steeldogs 3

MANCHESTER Phoenix fell to their second home defeat in a row when the Sheffield Steeldogs came from 2-0 down to win 3-2.

Phoenix dominated the early exchanges but Dalibor Sedlar in the Steeldogs’ net was in top form and turned away shot after shot.

He was finally beaten when Robin Kovar netted to give Phoenix a 1-0 lead.

Less than two minutes later it was 2-0 when Richard Bentham chased down a Steeldogs defender and forced him to cough the puck cross ice. Jack Watkins controlled the puck and sent an unstoppable shot past the Steeldogs’ netminder.

Phoenix were pressing the Dogs’ defence at every opportunity but the visitors pulled a goal back with 19 seconds left until the first buzzer.

Top sniper Lubomir Kohrhon took full advantage of a horrendous defensive turnover to shoot the puck past Stephen Fone.

Phoenix made a disastrous start to the second period and shipped two goals in 51 seconds. Firstly Greg Wood was in the right place at the right time to tie the scores. Worse was to come for Phoenix as they went 2-3 down as Lubomir Korhon scored with assists given to Andrew Hirst and Lee Haywood.

The game erupted on the half hour after Robert Schnabel was given two minutes for clipping. Ashley Calvert took exception to Schnabel’s challenge and the pair had words.

The resulting penalties were two plus two minutes for both for fighting.

Five minutes later Schnabel was again called to drop the gloves, this time by Callum Pattison. Schnabel again picked up two plus two minutes with Pattison getting two plus two for fighting and an extra 10 minutes for incitement.

Steeldogs went to the break with a 3-2 lead.

Phoenix huffed and puffed in the third period, again having most of the possession, but a mixture of bad luck and the impressive form of Sedlar in the visiting net kept Phoenix at bay.

Coach Hand said after the game: “It was very disappointing to be only one goal to the good after the first period.

“We lost a poor goal due to a defensive turnover and it cost us momentum.

“Credit to the Steeldogs, they kept to their game plan and took the points. We will be doing our best to cut out the mistakes and I am looking forward to the cup semi-final on Thursday.”

Phoenix scorers: Robin Kovar and Jack Watkins